Q COSTA RICA – After several months of relative calm, the Poas Volcano is acting up again, with a small groundwater and ash discharge.
Volcanologists Gino González and Yemerith Alpízar of Volcanes Sin Fronteras (Volcanos Without Borders) visited the colossus over the weekend and reported the reactivation after the volcano had remained relatively calm for eight months. A similar activity was recorded in 2013.
Specialists say theywere in the southwestern sector of the colossal crater where they found that the lagoon increased its temperature by 3 degrees Celsius compared to last month. The lagoon temperature is now 38 Celsius (100 Fahrenheit).
They also found that the lake has a gray color with sulfur floating in several sectors, with very acidic gases that forced the use of special masks. For now there is no presence of magma.
The ash from Poas is quite different from the ash spewed by the Turrialba, whose ash emanations are not acidic.
The Poas, located in the province of Alajuela, a stone’s throw if you will, from the San Jose airport, has a phreatic activity, which is water and hot gases, without direct magma. This is in contrast to the Cartago volcano, the Turrialba.
Will the Poas behave like the Turrialba? For now, experts say the colossi have a distinc activity.
Experts says they will continue with constant monitoring of the Poas, a major tourist destination in the Central Valley and that visitors should not be surprised if they feel the gases and the strong smell, which can mean shorter times in the lookout point.
Poas national park officials, where the volcano is located, also call on visitors to not use unauthorized trails – such as access by the Bajo del Toro – located on the west wall of the volcano, where the increased activity has occurred.
“It’s a dangerous, very fractured road – this weekend’s eruption – spewed ash and can affect those who walk there, the recommendation is that they better not do it,” Gonzalez said.